Nigeria is set to witness “non-stop” protests in the Northern region of the country, that’s according to the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG).
According to the group, the protests will commence on Thursday and is aimed at drawing the attention of the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari and the 19 northern states governors to the wave of insecurity in the North, hikes in electricity tariffs, continued closure of the country’s higher institution amongst other concerns.
Nigerian youths are already in the eighth day of protest across major cities in the country demanding an end to police brutality, assault and killing of peaceful protesters.
CNG Spokesman Abdulazeez Suleiman, said the ineptitude and an apparent failure of elected and appointed leaders from the North to either protect the lives and property of northerners or address the distresses facing the region had pushed them to the wall.
The CNG noted that it was no longer an exaggeration that the security situation in the country particularly in the North had deteriorated, while the authorities did not deem it fit to extend the swift spirit deployed against the Special Anti-robbery Squad into security the North.
The group observed that: “While the southern elected and appointed leaders and representatives are quick to identify with their people at the time of need, their counterparts from the North, including the President, the Senate President, Senators, Rep members, governors, state legislators and other government appointees would rather abandon the hundreds of thousands of people in northern communities exposed to crime, lawlessness and insecurity in the hands of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, rapists rustlers, and other violent criminals without any form of protection.
“That the authorities appear bent on sustainig the harsh, unacceptable regime of exploitative hikes in electricity tariffs for which the North shall bear the brunt more than other parts of the country.
“That the federal government appears not keen on resolving the lingering dispute with the Academic Staff Union to enable the recommencement of university education.”
The group accordingly resolved to “direct the extension of the protests to all northern states, commencing from Thursday, October 15, 2020.
“By this, all CNG state chapters and student wings are mandated to resume the mobilization of responsible sections of the civil society, NGOs, women groups, professional associations, artisans and concerned parents in their respective states for the continuation of our protests started in Katsina state in June.”
Suleiman said the CNG will lead the protest to “demand that the federal government immediately declare a state of emergency on security and take practical steps to end all manifestations of insecurity in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.
“Demand thorough reorientation of the entire police force and its empowerment by way of additional personnel, modern training and adequate equiptment to be able to reclaim its universal internal security function.
“Mount pressure on leaders to show real commitment to protecting lives of citizens, ending the prolonged closure of our universities, reconsidering hiked commodity prices, reducing youth unemployment, and checking the rise in poverty level.
The group is also demanding that the federal government “publicly condemn and pass a vote of no confidence on office holders and elected leaders who have abandoned the bulk of northerners to the mercy of a vicious insurgency, destructive banditry, rape and sexual assaults, violent communal clashes amidst mounting poverty and entrenched fear of widespread kidnappings for ransom.”
By Abel Ejikeme